A Guide to Winter in Sarajevo

With the Olympic Mountains surrounding the city and tons of events going on in and around town, Sarajevo is the perfect destination for those who love winter. Here we recommend some activities that are sure to warm you up on winter days!

Find the perfect warm beverage

Winter nights

Active holidays

Body care and relaxation

Mountain destinations

Find the perfect warm beverage

The “cult” of coffee drinking in Sarajevo is known far and wide. Whether you drink local pounded coffee or some of the finest international blends, there’s much to be enjoyed.

The tea and coffee house, Nafaka, is a place where you can feel like you’re in a real traditional Bosnian house. If you’d like to find out the difference between Turkish and Bosnian coffee, and sample both, then this is the perfect place. Nafaka serves more than 70 different types of tea, from herbs that have been collected on the slopes of Mt. Treskavica to fine and exotic teas from China.

The well known Turkish restaurant chain, Gönül Kahvesi, has brought a unique offering to Turkish coffee lovers in Sarajevo. With a selection of more than 30 unusual and delicious varieties of this popular drink, all tastes are sure to be satisfied. Those who prefer tea can enjoy traditional Turkish (black) tea or other aromatic blends that are specific to Turkey.

Franz & Sophie is a unique place where you can find organic teas from all over the world – just like the nature and tea masters have created them. You will be served by the first tea sommelier in the region.

On cold winter days, the perfect warm drink from Sarajevo is salep, which is prepared by cooking the roots of wild orchids. You can try it at Rahatlook and Nafaka and you should definitely try boza at Ramis Sweet Shop. Slatko Ćoše (Sweet Corner) is an excellent starting point for trying out some of the many small and charming places that can be found throughout Baščaršija.

For traditional cakes baklava - visit Baklava dućan and Baklava Shop, for American pancakes go to Talks & Giggles, and if you find yourself at Ilidža wanting something sweet, visit Panna Cotta.

With the recent popularity of nargile, the different aromas of nargile tobacco can now be smelled drifting from the many new places that have opened up. You can also drink flavored teas at some of the nargile bars and the most popular spots are Damask, Libris, MahalaU Prolazu….

While you are in Sarajevo, be sure to visit Zlatna Ribica. This café bar, which is full of different elements and has a unique interior, exudes a certain mystique. This is a trusted spot for a nice daily coffee break or a relaxing night out and is very popular among tourists.

We also recommend Mr. Kan is a jazz club and a spot that has an impressive and pleasant ambienceCordoba cafe, which exists at the BBI center and Krone hotel at Ilidža, while you shouldn't even miss Vidikovac Zmajevac, Kamarija and Gonul Kahvesi, with a beautiful view at Sarajevo.

If you work up an appetite while walking around town, stop by Mlinar or Maison Coco for some warm baked goods.

Winter nights

At the Monument Club and Jazzbina, you can enjoy jazz and blues concerts, and if you’re keen to socialize along with dancing and live gigs, then be sure to visit Silver & Smoke Club, Cinemas Club, Mash, Underground, ProRock klub Johnny, S-One Sky bar or Aquarius Vils.

Warm up with some domestic brandy or coctail at BarhanaBlind Tiger Burger & Coctel Bar, Ice Coctail and Snack Bar, Višegrad and Libertad Café Bar, places that also often host quizzes and board game evenings.

Beer lovers should try Pivnica HS, Celtic Pub, Vučko i Charlie Chaplin and The Brew Pub.

You can enjoy some mulled wine and other fine wines, along with a delicious dinner, at Dveri, Konoba Luka, The Four Rooms of Mrs. Safija, Tišina Konoba, Golf Klub RestaurantPivnica Sarajevo...

Active holidays

The ski season on Olympic Mountains Jahorina and Bjelašnica will officially begin in mid-December.

The three-day season opening on Jahorina will begin on December 14 with a performance by Dženan Lončarević in front of Bistrica Hotel. The EYOF Challenge is set to take place in the morning of the second day and parties will be organized that evening at several locations on Mt. Jahorina. On the third day there will be a party with DJ Nixon at Poljice and Miroslav Ilić will be performing that evening at Bistrica Hotel.

Those visiting Jahorina on New Year’s Eve can enjoy the free concert that will be given by Željko Joksimović in front of Bistrica Hotel.

The ski season on Bjelašnica and Igman will begin on December 16th. Bjelašnica has a fully operational snow delivery system, as well as four- and six-seater lifts, which will be functional by no later than December 15.

Sunnyland is a unique amusement park for children and adults from around the region and the main feature is the 600-meter-long, adrenaline-pumping Alpine Coaster, which is perfect for all ages.

The free Jaffa Skating Rink at 400 m2 is operational in Hastahana Park in Marijin Dvor for the 7th Annual Coca-Cola Sarajevo Holiday Market December 6th to January 13th 2018, while the ice skating season at Zetra begins at the end of december 2017, and will last most of February 15, 2018. 

If you’d like to have a good time with friends over billiards, snooker or darts, be sure to visit Merkur Billiards Club in Marijin Dvor or Mr. and Mrs. Cue on Wilson’s Promenade.

If you would like to spend your free time with friends or colleagues in a totally different way, then SpeedXtreme Karting Arena - where you can experience a major adrenaline rush like never before -- might just be the ticket.

Swimmers can enjoy some leisure time at the Olympic Swimming Pool in Otoka and at the enclosed swimming pool at Termal Riviera. Fitness addicts are in for a treat with the many fitness centers, such as Avalon, Fitness Universe or Westwood. 

Coloseum Club is the largest casino in Bosnia and Herzegovina and here you can enjoy table games, slot machines or electronic roulette. It also has a restaurant and club that is sure to make your visit complete.

Body care and relaxation

Winter is an ideal period to devote some time to yourself and to recharge your batteries. Sarajevo offers visitors lots of wellness and relaxation programs which are sure to rejuvenate your body. Whether you love a Turkish bath, Finnish sauna, Jacuzzi, massage or beauty treatments, you’ll find quality services for whatever strikes your fancy.

Isa Bey’s Hamam houses a hotel and a public bath (hamam) which offers an authentic ambience and different places to relax. Visitors can choose from: large Jacuzzis, two saunas at different temperatures, showers and a kurna (Turkish-style bathing area with special basins). We recommend that you make reservations for a time that best suits you because the hamam has different schedules for men and women.

Herbal Spa is a spa center that offers the best of holistic treatments for body care and relaxation, and is exclusively for women. Enjoy royal treatments based on natural products and exotic fragrances, and experience the effects of Asian medicinal herbs in the steam bath.

EGE Beauty Studio offers its clients a wide range of cosmetic services, from classic treatments to the newest trends in face and body care. Only the finest cosmetics are used for all skin types.

Guests at Radon Plaza Hotel can enjoy the hotel’s wellness center program and have some fun on the bowling lanes and in the billiard hall. Sarajevo also has a large number of fine polyclinics that offer specialized care at reasonable prices, including health services for aesthetic surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology…. There is the Al-TawilSaNaSa Clinic, Svjetlost Eye Polyclinic, Naša Mala Klinika, as well as private clinics run by Dr. Kapetanović and Dr. Ferida Čengić-Huković….

Mountain destinations

The Olympic Mountains are about a half-hour drive from the center of town and if you don’t have a car, you can make use of the GRAS or Centrotrans bus lines, or make a deal for a ride with one of the taxi companies in town.

GRAS minibus is driving during the weekends on relation Latinska Ćuprija - Trebević. They drive from Latinska Ćuprija at 09:00 and 16:00, and returning from Trebević at 10:00 and 17:00. Single tickets for adults cost 1,60 KM, and return tickets cost 2,70 KM. Single ticket for children cost 0,50 KM.

GRAS will be providing a Sarajevo-Bjelašnica line and the bus will be running every day during the month-long winter holiday break in January. The bus departs from Sarajevo at the stop on Franje Račkog Street (next to the National Museum) at 9:00 a.m. and leaves Ilidža at 9:20 a.m. The bus then departs from Bjelašnica at 3:30 p.m. Single tickets for adults cost 4.30 KM and return tickets cost 7.40 KM. Single and return tickets for children cost 3.20 KM and 5.30 KM, respectively.

Jahorina is located about 28 km southeast of Sarajevo and is 12 km from Pale. You can reach Jahorina by taking the new road from the airport via Lukavica and Trebević. 

If you’re interested in transporting a large number of people from Sarajevo to Jahorina, or vice versa, you can contact Jahorina Olympic Center.

On the way to Mt. Jahorina, be sure to stop off in Bulozi to purchase some fine brandy by Naša Mala Destilerija; enjoy the great food served at Lavina, Termag and Vučko Hotels up on the mountain, and if you find yourself on Mt. Igman, you can try some Bosnian specialties at Sarajevo Begluk.

If you plan on exploring nature up on the mountains, be sure to jot down the number for Mountain Rescue Services (Gorska Služba Spašavanja) – 062/654-456, or just 121. They will be more than happy to come and help out if you get lost!